In a nicely chilling cold open, a hacker stops the pacemaker of a football-playing young girl, in order to leverage her father – who also owns the company which manufactures the pacemaker – into liquidating some of his assets and transferring them. But the hacker – known, helpfully, as The Rat – isn’t this week’s Blacklister. That’s The Cryptobanker, who launders illegally-gotten Bitcoin. (Which is one of those things, like swimming and powered flight, that I just don’t understand, but which happily continues in the face of my scepticism.) While Aram builds the girl a Faraday cage, so that the hacker can’t interfere with the pacemaker again, Red asks the Task Force to find The Cryptobanker, because reasons. It’s a brisk, muscular plot.
This week’s real thrills, though, are to be found at Red’s trial. Faced with a prosecutor who is planning to reveal the existence of the immunity agreement, and therefore the Task Force, Red gambles. He changes his plea to guilty, then rushes through the jury’s consideration of whether he is to be subjected to the death penalty, in order to be back at the prison by a certain time. Because he has an escape plan. And it’s a great one, which totally works… right up until the last moment, when it doesn’t, and he’s recaptured on the verge of freedom.
Now convicted, and awaiting execution, does Red have anything else up his sleeve? Well, of course he does; he wanted the Cryptobanker found because he did some business with a man in Cairo, which is evidence of a great big conspiracy, which will get Red another immunity agreement. Or something. It hardly matters. It’s The Blacklist, and it’s brilliant, even if I’ve now decided not to bother worrying about whether Liz loves or hates Red at any given moment. This week she loves him, I think.